Title: Professor and Vice President Emeritus
Company: New York University Tandon School of Engineering
Location: New York, New York, United States
Richard Thorsen, Professor and Vice President Emeritus at New York University Tandon School of Engineering, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in engineering education administration.
After obtaining a Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering in 1962 from City College of New York, Dr. Thorsen continued his education with a Doctor of Philosophy in mechanical engineering in 1967 from New York University (NYU). Since 1964 he has served NYU as a professor and in a number of supervisory and administrative posts for nearly six decades.
As head of the department of mechanical engineering and then head of mechanical and aerospace Engineering at Polytechnic Institute of New York (now NYU Tandon School of Engineering) from 1974 to 1983, Dr. Thorsen assisted in increasing enrollment from 400 undergraduates to 700 and graduate enrollment from 200 to 400, with sponsored research increasing from $25,000 to more than $2 million annually.
Dr. Thorsen then provided superior service as Associate Provost for Computing and Information Systems with NYU from 1983 to 1986, working closely with aerospace, architectural and engineering design companies to lead the NYU’s development of Interactive Computer Graphics and Computer Aided Design (CAD) laboratories and curricula. As Dean of Graduate Studies from 1986 to 1992, recruiting graduate students and establishing and implementing graduate student policies. The university’s high water mark in graduate enrollment until 2009 (2659) was achieved during this period. Dr. Thorsen then provided superior service from 1992 to 1995 as NYU’s Vice President for Research and Advanced Programs.
As Vice President for Development and University Relations from 1995 to 2006 and the director of all major fundraising activities Dr. Thorsen led the successful $275 million Campaign for Polytechnic: Fulfilling the American Dream, which raised $100 million, and as Vice President for Academic Affairs, he coordinated the development of the University’s Strategic Plan for 2007-2010, through its adoption by the Board of Trustees in May 2007.
As a researcher, Dr. Thorsen’s chief areas have included energy systems, heat transfer, nuclear reactor safety, solar energy, radiation heat transfer, combined mode heat transfer and energy conversion. His professional memberships include the American Society Of Mechanical Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
Dr. Thorsen attributes his success to being surrounded by wonderful colleagues including his co-workers, mentors, and students. As a career highlight, he cites having a positive influence on students in all levels as well as the work that he did on the first lunar module for NASA. Dr. Thorsen’s goal in the next five years is to finish composing a history of New York University.
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